Photo by Matt Stensland
Sweet Pea Market employee Jules Poma shucks fresh garlic Saturday at the Mainstreet Farmers Market. Sweet Pea owners Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana want to open a stand near Ace at the Curve.
Steamboat Springs Sweet Pea Market plans to make a stand on the western end of town.
Owners Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana want to sell produce in a grassy spot across the parking lot from TIC and Mountain Valley Bank, near Ace at the Curve. They plan to open the stand daily starting July 8, if they get Steamboat Springs City Council approval.
"I've always wanted to do it," Hieb said. "I think that, that end of town is very busy, and there's a lot of people that live on that end of town that don't necessarily want to come downtown."
Sweet Pea owners also are interested in seeing how the experiment works. Hieb raised the possibility of adding stands in the Front Range, too. He also wants to make life easier for people who live in western Steamboat.
"We're really big on listening to our customers, and we get a lot of customers who say, 'I wish you had something down on that end of town; we hate driving into town,'" he said.
Hieb also is taking into account the possibility for development. He said he's kept an eye on the Steamboat 700 discussion.
"I know the city at one point was requiring them to have a grocery store at that end of town," Hieb said. "I don't know if the big guys like City Market and Safeway are interested in having two stores in town, but maybe we could fill that niche."
The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission is scheduled to review Sweet Pea's application June 25, Senior Planner Jonathan Spence said. That panel will make a recommendation to the City Council. City staff members expect the commission to give the go-ahead, Spence said.
Mountain Valley Bank controls the land, which Sweet Pea would rent, Hieb said.
Ace Store Manager Scott Schlapkohl said he was excited about the prospect of having a produce stand nearby.
"I think it will be great for the west end of town," Schlapkohl said. "I'm looking forward to having it as a draw for our business. Downtown, those guys do a nice job."
The proposal probably will end up on the City Council's consent calendar at its July 7 meeting. If all goes well, Hieb plans to open July 8. He hasn't figured out what the stand will be called or what its hours will be. The stand will accept cash, credit cards and checks, he said.
"Our plan is to open every day, and I'm kind of thinking around 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.," Hieb said. "But anything new like this you really just let things happen organically."